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The Crown Jewels

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$89.99

Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★½
(63 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • Without belaboring the point, let me just say that few groups have had the influence and the wide-reaching fame of Queen. This boxed set contains their first 8 studio albums remastered, in minature versions of their original packaging (except for ‘The Game’. Why?). You’ll find all their hits up to 1980, with great tracks like “Keep Yourself Alive”, “Killer Queen”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Tie Your Mother Down”, “We Are The Champions”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, and “Another One Bites The Dust”. You’re better off buying this set rather than each one individually. These do not contain the horrible remixes added to the individual CDs. Queen was a band that proved that rock could be much more than just three chords and a backbeat. You can see their influence in so many artists these days, from Metallica to Spacehog. Grab this and see why.

    Posted on November 24, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I just purchased this set to boost my collection of Queen albums and have been a fan since they emerged in the early 70’s. OK, so this is NOT a reflection of this multi talented band in entirety, and they certainly produced a lot of good albums after “The Game” (last album chronologically in this set)so a 25 year box set is missing quite a bit. That said, this set does contain some of their best work. From the deep rock seasoning of “the Prophets Song” and “Tie your Mother Down” to the choral flow of Brian May’s “39″, the rasping brood of Roger Taylors “In Love with my Car” and even the campy eloquence of “Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon” (plus many many more) one thing becomes quickly clear. Queen as a band never stood still, with a broadness of range and evolving style, this multi talented quartet were at the top of their game, and the forefront of Rock music for the last thirty years, and have doubtless inspired, and spawned many famous names since.

    This rating has to be 5 stars from a collectors point of view all the way for the following reasons:

    1) These are the original recordings remastered onto CD, and they sound just like the vinyl albums. Great!
    2) They are the original length albums, not remixed, rehashed, or added to with special “bonus” tracks and weird “mixes”
    3) Nice presentation velvet box, and I like the copy of the album sleeves for each CD, some bifold, some single sleeve with protective inner sleeves. Also complete lyric list booklet.
    4) The first (and arguably the best) of their amazing range is here, in their first eight albums.

    True musicians as they were, it was not until the release of “The Game” that they caved, and began to use synthesisers (each preceeding album boasts “no synths” in the album smallprint).
    Having said all of this about this great set, they are one or two things you should remember however.

    1) A lot of good stuff came after this set, so it doesn’t actually represent 25 years.
    2) It’s a collectors set, so it’s overpriced

    I know a lot of people could care less about nice sleeves, and a fancy velvet box, and indeed most of these will end up in flip cases, or CD sun visors. Also some people may like the re releases with the bonus tracks and buying the individual albums may be cheaper. My advice – this is a MUST HAVE either way, I still used Amazon, but sorry guys I used your marketplace and saved over $65!! on retail, so shop wisely. Enjoy

    Posted on November 24, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • There is simply no better collection to buy for any rock fan. I have owned all of these 8 albums on vinyl before and the sound on these remastered discs is much better especially for those who love their earlier albums. The crisp sound only makes one appreciate the complexity of the music and the bottom is much clearer.Of course quality of the recording wouldn’t matter if the music isn’t good and this is as good as it gets. What a great idea to simply put together queen’s first 8 albums. Everyone of these discs is a great work of art but my personal favorite is queen 2. Simply blows me away! “March of the black queen” has so many chord and timing changes it’s hard to keep up and “white queen” is a great song. The third disc “sheer heart attack” perhaps benefits the most from the remastered sound and brighton rock just leaps out of the speakers. “A night at the opera” is one of the best albums of all time and “a day at the races” is close to that level. In short this is most of the best work by one of the best bands of all time. The sound is as good as it gets and it is worth buying for any serious queen or rock fan. I know there are many who own some of these albums and maybe shy about paying this much for some of the same material but trust me it is worth it. It all comes in a jewelery type cd box with a booklet of liner notes and lyrics for all the songs………….socks

    Posted on November 24, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This set is, in my opinion, what a boxed set should be. I hate sets that take the tracks out of their original LP sequences, spread them over too many discs, and then end up not giving you everything anyway. This box is the opposite of a box like that. These are the first 8 albums, with NO BONUS TRACKS. I hate it when bonus tracks pop up and the end of an album and spoil the original continuity. The discs in this set are NOT the same as the standard-issue Hollywood series. As for the packaging; phenomenal. The CD packaging perfectly mimics the original vinyl sleeves, down to every detail (e.g., the embossing on ‘Night At The Opera’ and the poster with ‘Jazz’). The discs themselves don’t look ugly like the Hollywood ones, either. Don’t spend $30 each on the Japanese imports – you get them all right here. The booklet is a bit disappointing. You do get full lyrics and some photos, yet Matt Pinfield’s self-centered album summaries are boring and useless. The albums are wonderfully mastered too, though the mixes do sound slightly different from the Hollywood versions.All in all, Brilliant. Like I said, this is what a box set should be. If you own little or nothing by Queen and want to get into them, don’t waste time or money on the regular versions (the bonus tracks are NOT worth it… awful house remixes!).

    Posted on November 24, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I am going to give a disc-by-disc analysis of this great set.QUEEN: The band’s first disc, not their best, but still quite good. This one contains the classic “Keep Yourself Alive,” plus great songs like “Great King Rat,” “My Fairy King,” and a tune written for Brian May’s previous band, Smile, “Doing Alright.” The standout track on the album is easily “Liar,” a 6+ minute epic track, full of many different parts. Definitely reccomended.QUEEN II: One of my favorites in the set. The theme for the album is somewhat midieval, which provides a great feel to it and makes it all the more unique. “March of the Black Queen” should not be missed by any follower of rock music, it is just incredible. It has a lot of tempo changing, like a rock operetta. Brian May makes his vocal debut on this album with “Some Day One Day” (Roger’s was on the previous album with “Modern Times Rock & Roll.”) Other great songs are “Ogre Battle,” “Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke,” “Father to Son,” “White Queen,” all of them are good, I highly reccomend this album.SHEER HEART ATTACK: One of the most popular albums among staunch Queen fans. It contains the classics “Killer Queen,” “Now I’m Here,” and “Stone Cold Crazy.” One of the many standout tracks is “Brighton Rock,” which features Brian May going crazy, and Freddie Mercury showcasing his amazing vocal capabilities. “In The Lap Of The Gods” (both of them) is absolutely amazing. This album also features John Deacon’s songwriting debut, “Misfire.”A NIGHT AT THE OPERA: One of the band’s best-loved and best-known albums. Some fans have described a lot of the tracks as quirky (whatever that means), but the album remains a true classic in rock and roll. It contains the band’s most famous song, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which needs no introduction whatsoever, unless the reader of this is from another planet. “Good Company” sounds like something from the 1940’s, “‘39″ is a great folk song, “Seaside Rendezvous” is campy but excellent, “Death On Two Legs” is a vicious song dedicated to their manager who screwed them over. All of them are good, but the track that stands out the most is “The Prophet’s Song,” a little over eight minutes long, with beautiful guitar work from Brian May, and an amazing a capella interlude from the vocal god Freddie Mercury. A DAY AT THE RACES: The amazing follow-up to ANATO, the cover is similar its predecessor. Contains the classic rocker “Tie Your Mother Down,” plus the classics “Somebody to Love” and one of my favorites, “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy.” Two beautiful tracks are “You Take My Breath Away” (will easily bring a major softie to tears), and “Teo Torriatte” (sung partially in Japanese). One of the standout tracks is the incredible “Millionaire Waltz,” excellent track which is as musically complex as a classical work. “White Man” is another unkown classic of Brian May’s, a tad reminicent of “The Prophet’s Song,” found on ANATO. Excellent piece of work.NEWS OF THE WORLD: The album that hosted “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions,” an automatic essential in the Queen catalog. Also contains great songs such as the 1940-ish “Who Needs You” and “My Melancholy Blues,” plus Roger Taylor’s fast, heavy ode to punk rock “Sheer Heart Attack,” and also another Brian May classic, the blues tune “Sleeping On the Sidewalk.” Though John Deacon was not a singer, he was an amazing songwriter, and it definitely shows in “Spread Your Wings” and “Who Needs You.” Needless to say, this is a great album, and should not be missed by anyone anywhere.JAZZ: Another amazing piece of work from these amazing musicians. Contains the classics “Bicycle Race,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” and “Don’t Stop Me Now,” plus the middle-eastern-ish “Mustapha,” and the heavy rocking “Let Me Entertain You.” Queen is definitely one of the most diverse bands on the planet, and it definitely shows in the jazzy “Dreamers Ball,” and Queen’s first foray into funk, “Fun It.” Another cool thing about this particular purchase is that this release comes with the famous nude bicycle race poster that came with the original vynil release, which makes this set a gem for collectors.THE GAME: Another one of Queen’s best-loved and best-remembered albums. This album hosts the classics “Another One Bites the Dust”(the Deacon-penned song that became their biggest hit to date) and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” Also contains the upbeat rocker “Dragon Attack,” plus ballads such as “Play the Game,” “Sail Away Sweet Sister,” and “Save Me,” plus other rockers such as “Rock It (prime jive)” and “Need Your Lovin’ Tonight” (Another Deacon classic). This album should not and cannot be missed by fans of Queen or classic rock albums.All in all, this is a great set, with a booklet chock full of lyrics, a few pictures, and some background info on each album (producer, etc). One of the really positive things about this set is that there are no bonus tracks, and each album is packaged exactly as it originally was on the vynil release (sides of the records, etc). If you purchase these albums separately, they contain bonus tracks, most of which are really bad remixes. You have two choices, go buy them separately and get stuck with the bad bonus tracks, or get all eight albums for cheaper than it would be to buy them separately, hear them as they were originally intended, and really get your money’s worth. The sound quality is also very good, better than one would expect from an old album released on CD. Anyway, this is a great set, and if you plan on getting all eight of these albums, do yourself a favor, buy this set and hear it all as it was originaly intended. It is one of the best sets you will ever buy. Buy this set and experience some of the best work by one of rock’s greatest bands of all time, crank up the volume and experience the bliss, power, passion, and beauty of this great music.LONG LIVE QUEEN!

    Posted on November 24, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now